Wednesday, January 18, 2012

South American Adventure - IPC-SCL

  1. Booking
  3. Miami
  4. MIA-SCL
  5. SCL-IPC
  6. Easter Island
  7. IPC-SCL
  8. Santiago
  9. SCL-MVD
  10. Montevideo
I’m starting to get the LAN experience down.  This Easter Island to Santiago flight will be my third consecutive LAN business class flight on a 767 and have a good idea for the drill.  The flight doesn’t board until after 2, but LAN wants you checked in around 12:30; this still gives you a fair amount of time to see something in the morning, it is a small island.  They do run a Southwest style fast turn on the jet once it lands.  There is very little to do at the airport.  There is no business lounge, a small bar, and about a dozen souvenir stands.  Most of the action comes from watching the plane land and the ground crew spring into action.  There is also free Wi-Fi in the terminal.
LAN 767 arriving at Easter Island
Boarding started abruptly and haphazardly.  There was no announcement or boarding order; just a large mash of people formed around the gate agent and started walking to the plane.  IPC has no jet bridge, so it was a hop across the tarmac and up the stairs.  I had seat 4A, not realizing that row 4 is missing a window.  There isn’t much to see, but it does make for a little claustrophobic feeling.  The business class cabin was full and the flight attendants were trying to facilitate some seat switching.  I won seatmate lottery by getting an Antarctic research vessel crew member to talk with for 5 hours.  Very interesting stuff and now I really want to go and explore the southern limits of the earth (she worked as a liaison on a US flagged ship and made bank why playing with penguins and motor boats, sound like a great job).
Boarding my flight to SCL
The plane boarded fast and we were quickly away.  The meal service was what I expected from LAN, three courses and decent quality, again with a wide wine selection.  I did try one of the domestic beers, Chrystal, and it was awful; I used a Heineken to get the taste out.  I understand now why Corona and Tecate are imported to Easter Island.  After the meal service, the flight attendants were scarce (standard procedure I guess).  Ring the call button to get a refill because they don’t check very often.
LAN Business Class Meal
I watched two movies on the flight.  LAN’s inflight entertainment is very good and they have quite a few selections.  The time went very quickly.  Halfway through my flight though my seat broke and a flight attendant was able to fix it, but it looked like she had to take it apart.  The flight attendant was able to take care of it in less than 5 minutes; I had a feeling this wasn’t the first time she saw this problem. 
LAN 767 Business Class Seat
LAN 767 Business Class Seat
LAN 767 Business Class Seat
Landing was smooth and then I had a quick taxi to the gate.  I wished my seat mate safe travel back to Alaska and made my way to the Trans VIP counter to get a ride to my hotel in Santiago.  Trans VIP charges about $12 to go into Santiago.  They run new vans (4,000 kms on mine) and depart very frequently; an overall great experience and recommended highly.  It’s good to have your hotel’s address handy just in case they don’t recognize it.  It took less than an hour from landing to arriving at my hotel, the Intercontinental Santiago.
LAN 767-300

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